Stone Russian Imperial Stout (or Imperial Russian Stout)
BA once listed this as the number three beer in the world, but they've re-jiggered the ranking algorithm since then. It now sits at number 15.
Appearance: This thing is so dark you'd probably need a photospectrometer to differentiate its color from that of the Bootes Void... and yeah, I was waiting for the opportunity to use that tortured metaphor. Suffice to say it's extremely deep black, completely opaque, Has a tiny head that dissipates but leaves a touch of lacing regardless. It's not quite as intense as Dark Lord, but it's close. 4.5/5
Smell: Highly malty, strong notes of barley and intense grains. Hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Lots of hops and a touch of astringency due to alcohol. Rich, inviting. 4.5/5
Taste: Heavily malty, strong doses of crisp California hops, with a strong tart astringency due to the alcohol. Delicious qualities of coffee, chocolate, hints of bittersweet raisins. Sweet and astringent finish, with a dry, bittersweet, malty aftertaste that leaves me wanting another drink. As the beer warms the dryness and the maltiness become more prominent. Delicious and well-executed. 4.5/5
Mouthfeel: Thick, low carbonation. Chewy but also smooth. 5.0/5
Drinkability: A fantastic beer. Approximately equal to Bell's Expedition in terms of quality, and a fine brew to have on these cold winter evenings. A beer designed to be savored and enjoyed for as long as the bottle lasts. 5.0/5